I've used emacs on Windows 10 for a year. Recently, my "box" cursor in emacs has become a thin vertical line.

I have tried setting the variable "cursor-type", but this no longer seems to have any effect.

I have found a short comment that emacs might be detecting assistive technology (like speech recognition) and using a system cursor. See here. I've tried turning off speech recognition in Windows, but that doesn't seem to fix the cursor in emacs.

Is there a way to force emacs to use a box cursor instead of a Windows native cursor? (If this is indeed my problem.)

  • Can you provide a recipe to reproduce the problem, starting with emacs -Q (no init file)? If not, bisect your init file to perhaps find the culprit.
    – Drew
    Apr 1, 2020 at 22:10
  • Even with emacs -Q, the cursor is a thin vertical line. I used to have a block cursor, but something has changed in how emacs and Windows interact. Apr 3, 2020 at 1:24
  • Maybe do M-x report-emacs-bug, to report it as a bug. Alternatively, you can copy the Emacs version and build info provided automatically for the bug report into your question here. (Or else copy what you see from M-: (emacs-version), C-h v emacs-build-system, C-h v emacs-repository-version, C-h v system-configuration-options, and C-h v system-configuration-features.) Perhaps such info will help someone answer the question.
    – Drew
    Apr 3, 2020 at 3:42
  • I guess you also made sure screen magnify is turned off? I see that too is mentioned in the post you cited. (Good find of that post, BTW.)
    – Drew
    Apr 3, 2020 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


Found the answer on stackoverflow.

;; Disable the system cursor caused by screen reader etc.
(setq w32-use-visible-system-caret nil)

Helps to know that you need to search for "caret" instead of "cursor".

  • 2
    I checked your answer and it works. Perhaps accepting your answer?
    – Name
    Sep 7, 2020 at 11:58

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